Whitby opens a new ‘heart’ park for weary shoppers

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Published September 16, 2021 at 10:34 am

Whitby’s shoppers have a new spot to drop in the downtown core.

The Town of Whitby and the Whitby Business Improvement Area (BIA) have opened up a new parkette for residents to relax in.

The park fills what was once a derelict empty lot at Dundas Street and Byron Street. BIA Director Karey Large, says the lot used to be “a bit of a parking lot. Taxis were parking there. It was really under-utilized space.”

However, the Town and BIA have been working on fixing it up since 2018. The project began with a mural and has grown into a full rest area.

Large says the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic pushed them to develop sooner. “The need to have some space downtown for people going to restaurants, and couldn’t go in, but wanted to sit with their friends came to the forefront.”

As a result, the Town of Whitby leased the space for three years from its current owner.

The site features a variety of seating areas and a chainlink heart for couples to attach “love locks” to.

Large describes the park as a “nice collaborative effort,” between the Town and the BIA. “They did the grading and the heavy work, and we did all the pretty stuff,” she says.

Both organizers have plans to expand the park early next year. The BIA has applied for Ontario Healthy Communities grant to develop the park into a small performance venue. The plan is to host local bands, buskers and children’s arts event on site.

This next phase begins Spring 2022.

 

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